Saturday, March 26, 2016

Teutonia Peak Trail, Mojave National Preserve

 

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We continue to find new reasons to love the Mojave National Preserve. It turns out that the Joshua tree forest of Cima Dome and Shadow Valley is the largest and densest population of Joshua trees in the world, even larger than in Joshua Tree National Park. From our campground it’s about 25 miles to the Teutonia Peak trail, right in the middle of the beautiful forest.

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And we’re here at the perfect time to see the Joshua trees in bloom.

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Suzanne marveling at the size.

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Bigfoot.

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We really enjoyed the 1.6 mile trail through the trees which then takes on a rather abrupt climb up to the peak.

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Jim dwarfed by the rocks.

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Daring Suzanne.

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I don’t like to get quite that close to the edge.

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 Not being climbers, we couldn’t quite make it all the way to the highest point, but we were happy just exploring around the rocks and taking in the views.

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Looking at the curvature of the land gives you a sense of massive Cima Dome, a gentle dome-shaped  75 square mile mass of once molten rock now covered with Joshua trees. It rises 150’ above the desert floor and has a diameter of over 10 miles. A geological rarity, the almost-perfect dome has been called the most symmetrical natural dome in the United States.

So subtle, at first we weren’t sure we were looking in the right place.

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We found the rocks to be much more fascinating.

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It was another great day in the Mojave National Preserve. This is one of those places I almost hate to share because so few people come here, which adds to its appeal. Joshua Tree National Park averages around 2 million visitors a year, whereas only a half million people come to Mojave. Last night, the Friday before Easter, the three closest campsites to ours were vacant. Unbelievable!

13 comments:

  1. Just wonderful. Thank you for taking me along by pictures.

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  2. Like most I think of the Mojave as hot, dry, inhospitable. I've driven thru a couple times and wend geode hunting once. After seeing all the Joshua Trees and your hikes, bet there will be a few more visitors next year! Thanks for the great post.

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  3. We have never done the Teutonia Peak trail. Gorgeous. Also, we always leave to soon to see the Joshua trees in bloom. Thanks for the awesome photos. Bigfoot is a hoot.

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  4. Great hike in the rocks:) But then, any hike in the rocks is great:) Love that the Joshua Trees were blooming. Sure helps their look. I hope too many people don't discover the area. The National Parks are getting way too crowded which is too bad.

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  5. Love your blog! Thanks for letting us dream. It sure helps us survive the cold Iowa winters. We are excited to be going full-time in a few months! Teamguthrie.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks! Hope to see you somewhere down the road.

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    2. Thanks! Hope to see you somewhere down the road.

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  6. Love to see all those Joshua Trees, may be the savior of their species. Mojave is a good secret preserve. Think I'll stay out of National Parks this summer, except for the one I work at. Thank goodness there's more other public land to explore.

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  7. Sounds like the perfect place to be during spring break!

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  8. The Mojave is a great choice for this time of year when it's too hot in the lower elevations and still snowing in the higher. Very nice that you haven't had the Easter crowds there also.

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  9. Love Bigfoot :-)) It's just like nature to give an exceptional flower to a gnarly tree - and large ones! Great pic of the Dome, it's like looking at a small planet.

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  10. We have got to get to Mohave. Everything about it sounds so fascinating!

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  11. How dare those rocks dwarf jim😆

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